Fold 3 Free!

by Fred Ray on July 5, 2021 · 0 comments

Just a heads up for TOCWOC readers that the reference site Fold 3 has their Civil War records accessible for free for another week and a half, until July 18.

It’s a great opportunity to research your ancestor’s CW service without having to subscribe. Fold 3 has most (but not all) of the CW CSRs (Compiled Service Records) on line now, plus much more.

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Confederate Gold in Pennsylvania?

by Fred Ray on June 26, 2021 · 1 comment

Might even be stolen U.S. gold from the Federal Mint.

Archer wrote that he also spoke with a journalist who had done extensive research on a Civil War-era group called the Knights of the Golden Circle. The KGC, Archer wrote, was a secret society of Confederate sympathizers that had purportedly “buried secret caches of weapons, coins, and gold and silver bullion, much of which was stolen from robberies of banks, trains carrying payroll of the Union Army during the Civil War and from northern army military posts, in southern, western and northern states.”

Archer said that a turtle carving found on a rock near the proposed dig site was “very likely … a KGC marker for that site.”

Archer wasn’t able to confirm the U.S. Mint had actually missed any expected shipments of gold because the Mint did not have records for the Civil War period, the affidavit said.

Or maybe not.

Seems like I’ve seen this movie before somewhere. Three guys are after it—one’s Good, one’s Bad, and the other one’s, well, Ugly.

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Big Guns and Bombs

by Fred Ray April 2, 2021

Everyone probably knows what a revolver is, but do you know which one is the biggest? The S&W 29, beloved of Dirty Harry? The Colt Walker? Naah, not even close. It was Pate’s revolving cannon. Not a hand cannon, mind you, but a real one on a carriage. Each ball for the revolving cannon weighed […]

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Lorenzo Barber’s “Combo” Gun

by Fred Ray December 16, 2020

Some time ago (in 2006) I wrote a post about John Jacob and his unusual rifle. In it I said that Lorenzo Barber, the “Fighting Parson” of the 1st U.S.S.S., used a Jacob rifle because he is mentioned as having a double-barrel rifle with one barrel loaded with buckshot and the other with a bullet. […]

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The Effect of Bayonets, The Oldest revolver

by Fred Ray September 20, 2020

Cap and Ball is at it again, this time to answer a question that often comes up about Civil War rifles. Did the addition of a bayonet have any effect on accuracy? He also has some commentary on the use of bayonets during the war. We often hear that Sam Colt invented the revolver, and […]

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Civil War Amputation Kit

by Fred Ray August 23, 2020

Amputation of wounded limbs was not new but reached somewhat of a high point in the Civil War. The Minie ball, in particular, was notorious for shattering bone. Doctors soon found that trying to save a limb was counterproductive—it almost always became infected and the patient died. We have all seen gruesome photos of severed […]

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Four Civil War Pistols (and the rounds they fired)

by Fred Ray August 12, 2020

Cap and Ball, whom we have met before, has a very informative post on four Civil War revolvers—the Colt, the Remington, Starr, and Adams. He shows how each worked and which worked best. He also shows the paper cartridges they fired and how to make them. Quite interesting if you want to know the details […]

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